Williams v. State of North Carolina (1942)

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Williams v. State of North Carolina (1942)
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Date decided December 21, 1942
Appealed from North Carolina Supreme Court
Overturned Haddock v. Haddock
Followed by
Williams v. State of North Carolina (1945)


2 North Carolina residents Williams & Hendrix married each other people traveled together to Las Vegas, Nevada, in May 1940.

In June 1940, Williams & Hendrix divorced their former spouses to marry each other. The newly-wed couple in Nevada had their former spouses outside of Nevada. Mrs. Williams was served divorce papers in North Carolina. The 2 former spouses ignored the Nevada divorce proceedings.

The marriage of Williams & Hendrix was recognized by a Nevada court. However, they returned to North Carolina where they were charged with bigamy.

Procedural History

The trial court & North Carolina Supreme Court convicts the Williams & Hendrix couple of bigamy.


When must a state honor a divorce decree issued by another state?


The prosecution argued that North Carolina isn't supposed to recognize the Nevada divorce because the North Carolina former spouses weren't served in Nevada & didn't appear in a Nevada court.


The Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, ยง 1) requires a state to honor another state's divorce decree.


Courts exercise jurisdiction over marriage under In Rem jurisdiction where the "thing" is the "marriage."